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SACS Facts

June 2012

Greetings PCC Family and Friends …

While summer is generally a time for recreation and relaxation for many, this summer is the final stretch for Pitt Community College employees who are working hard to ensure PCC is reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (COC).

Reaccreditation affirms that PCC is fulfilling its mission to “educate and empower people for success.” The benefits of having COC‘s seal of approval are many.

Reaccreditation Is the Key to PCC’s Future …

For students, accreditation allows them to apply for and receive federal financial aid, if they are eligible. It also validates the degrees and diplomas they receive from Pitt and assures them that the course credits they earn here are transferable to other colleges and universities.

Accreditation means Pitt faculty are eligible to compete for federal research grants and that the college, in general, can receive state and federal funding.

For employers, accreditation gives them assurance that the PCC graduates they intend to hire have received a quality education.

It’s Truly Been a Journey …

Though PCC’s journey to reaccreditation essentially began once the college was reaffirmed by the COC in 2003, we began completing the steps necessary for our most recent reaccreditation bid in May 2010. And while we are closer to our destination, there is more work to be done.

Thus far, the college has completed a Compliance Certification report, which was submitted in March of this year. The Compliance Certification demonstrates to the COC that the college is meeting the educational standards outlined for reaccreditation.

An off-site COC review team recently provided us with feedback on our compliance report in which they identified several areas in need of additional information. Various groups on campus are working diligently to address the notations so an updated compliance certification report can be sent to COC in August.

The ‘ABCs’ of PCC’s QEP …

As stated previously, PCC’s goal is to “educate and empower people for success.” In part, that means helping students complete associate degrees.

In developing the QEP for Pitt, current students, employees, board members, alumni and many others identified career planning and academic advising as the improvement project that would most enhance student learning and success.

Our QEP is designed specifically to improve the success of Associate in Applied Science (AAS) students in the Business, Construction and Industrial Technology, and Public Services and Fine Arts divisions. To achieve this task, the college will set its sights on two main goals: career and academic planning (CAP). More specifically, PCC seeks to increase student utilization of career planning resources and improve student access to quality academic advising. 

It’s Rally Cap Time …

To successfully implement these goals, the QEP Development Team has planned four major interventions: 

  1. Establish organizational support for Career and Advising Planning, including a CAP Steering Committee and Academic Advising Team;
  2. Redesign the ACA 111 (College Student Success) course, a requirement for all AAS degree-seeking students;
  3. Establish two additional advising centers for AAS majors; and
  4. Integrate career planning into PCC pre-enrollment processes.

Outcome measures include retention rates, course success and graduation rates, so be sure to ‘put on your CAP’ in the days ahead, because PCC has embarked on a new journey of career and academic planning. New CAP logos designed by PCC’s Marketing will help remind you.

The Road Ahead …

As you read this newsletter, PCC employees are in the process of completing the QEP and preparing for the on-site COC review team’s campus visit, which will take place Sept. 18-20.

Before COC team members arrive, their chair, Dr. Linda K. Thomas-Glover, will visit PCC in August. She is the president of Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa, Virginia.

It Takes a Campus …

In closing, please note that this newsletter is merely a brief outline of the steps PCC has taken in the reaccreditation process. Numerous employees have worked countless hours as part of this effort, and that hard work is truly appreciated.

Since reaccreditation is important to everyone here at PCC, it is essential for you to stay informed of the progress we are making. Each month, the SACS Communication Committee will send you the latest details of our journey toward accreditation, the steps ahead, and what each of us can all do to ensure PCC achieves reaccreditation.